Virginia School Board asks Supreme Court to review transgender ruling

A school board in Virginia is asking the Supreme Court to review its policy requiring students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex at birth after lower courts declared the policy unconstitutional.

The case is Gloucester County School Board v. Grimm. The board filed its petition for certiorari, or review, with the Supreme Court on February 19, arguing that its bathroom policy raises an « urgent federal issue of national importance. »

The appeal comes after the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the school board violated Title IX of the Amendments Act. Education Act of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause by prohibiting Gavin Grimm, who was born a woman, from using the same high school restrooms as boys. Grimm has since graduated from school and is now an activist in California.

“I graduated four years ago; it is sad and disappointing that Gloucester County continues to deny who I am, ”Grimm said in a statement. “Trans students in Gloucester County Schools today should have the respect and dignity that I was denied. Whether it’s using the proper bathroom or having academic records that reflect who we are, we all deserve to go to a school free from harassment and discrimination. « 

The Fourth Circuit ruled that the board continued to discriminate against Grimm, « while schools in Virginia and across the country were successfully implementing trans inclusive restroom policies, again, without incident. » The court added: « It is time to move on. »

But the school board argues it has a strong case.

« For school officials, as for parents, the question of how best to respond to an adolescent who identifies with the opposite biological sex is often terribly difficult, » the board states in the petition.

“On the one hand, the adolescent deserves and needs everyone’s compassion. On the other hand, allowing the adolescent to use multi-user toilets, dressing rooms and showers reserved for the opposite sex raises what this Court has recognized as serious concerns about bodily privacy, for the adolescent and others ”.

« Unfortunately, » the 4th Circuit and now the new Biden administration have interpreted the 2020 Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County “as an imposition of a unique solution to this irritating problem: according to them, even schools that lack sufficient facilities or resources to guarantee the bodily privacy of all their students, are still required by Title IX and Fourteenth Amendment to allow biologically male adolescents to enter girls’ restrooms, locker rooms and multi-user showers, and vice versa.

« Neither Title IX nor the Equal Protection Clause require such a broad rule, and only this Court can reverse the decisions that adopt it in a growing number of circuits, now supported by the incoming Administration. »

In a dramatic departure from the legal status quo, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the Bostock case on June 15, 2020, that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees cannot be fired from their jobs. for sexual reasons. gender orientation or identity, as The Epoch Times previously reported. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, but does not mention sexual orientation, preference, or identity.

The ruling was a defeat for the Trump administration. During the oral arguments of the case, the then attorney general Noel Francisco said: « Sex means whether you are male or female, not whether you are homosexual or heterosexual. »

The lack of linguistic clarity has clouded legal problems in recent years as the concepts of sex and sexual identity or gender have become difficult to separate. Despite the different meanings of « sex » and « gender, » many institutions and individuals use « gender » to refer to biological sex.

But that ruling in Bostock vs. Clayton County embraced the concept of gender identity, which conservative critics say is a radical political invention that is not based on science.

The American Civil Liberties Union rejects the latest appeal from the school board.

« No student deserves the kind of treatment that Gavin endured » while in high school, said Eden Heilman, legal director for the ACLU of Virginia.

“The courts have ruled time and again that transgender students must be protected from discrimination, but Gloucester County Schools continue to deny their students basic respect and dignity. Over the past six years, Gavin’s case has inspired many to advocate for inclusive policies in their communities, and we are proud to continue working with [Grimm] towards equal rights for all trans students «.